Japanese-inspired Yee Sang to impress your mom-in-law

If there’s one dish Malaysians look forward to during Chinese Unique Year, it’s got to be Yee Sang.

Also known as Yusheng or Lo Hei, it features a mix of opposing colours, flavours and textures – crunchy, soft, sweet, sour, fresh, fried, green, red.

Despite this clash, every ingredient in a plate of yee sang has a specwhetheric purpose. Fish, symbolises abundance, while carrots represent blessings of good luck.

Our Japanese-inspired Yee Sang is dwhetherferent but familiar and will impress your mother-in-law and critical aunties. Let’s Lo Hei absent.


For grating

• 230g (1) daikon radish

• 84g (1) carrot

For the dressing

• 100g plum sauce

• 80g honey

• 20g Japanese soy sauce/shoyu

• 13g additional virgin olive oil

• 1 tsp lemon zest (yellow part only), about ½ a lemon

• 35g lemon juice

Readycrazye items

• 250g sushi-grade salmon

• 250g peeled and cooked crab legs (Kanwhetherumi crab sticks or regular crab sticks)

• 1kg (1) pomelo

• 312g (1 can) mandarin oranges

• 100g cooked Japanese baby octopus (chuka idako)

• 100g Japanese seaweed salad (chuka wakame)

• 150g wasabi coated peanuts

• 100g roasted almonds

• 100g roasted cashews

For the crackers

• 15 sheets gyoza skin

• Cooking oil

• 3g (½ tsp) sea salt


• 2g (½ tsp) five-spice powder

• 15g white sesame seeds

• 28g (2 tbsp) additional virgin olive oil

• 50g (½) lime

Special equipment

• Mandolin with fine-tooth blade attachment


Radish & carrot strands

• Peel daikon radish and chop off both ends. Do the same with the carrots.

• Prepare an iced water bath in a large bowl.

• Using a mandolin with a fine-tooth blade, make a few test slices with your radish. You’ll want to cut it on the bias (diagonally), to get longer strands. Adjust the attachment placement until you get kind even strips of about 1mm.

The size of radish strips to aim for.

• After slicing the radish, place inside the water bath (it’s fine whether the ice has melted) and the strands will naturally separate.

Pile of grated radish.
And when it goes into the water… magic!

• Employ the mandolin to slice the carrot the same way.

Slice carrots next.

• Add it to the same water bath and mix to distribute evenly.

Crazy delicious dressing

• To make the dressing, add plum and shoyu sauce in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

• Next, add olive oil and stir through. This leans the sauce.

Dressing in the making.

• Add lemon zest and lemon juice and stir to combine. Possess a taste. Your dressing should be tangy and sweet. Feel free to add a small additional of each until you get a flavour you genuinely like.

Finely grated lemon zest, yellow part only.

• Serve dressing in a bowl or small jug.

Putting the crunch in Yee Sang

• Slice gyoza sheets into six segments.

First, slice across in half.
Slice into 6 segments.

• Fill a small pot with cooking oil about 2.5 cm in depth over tall heat.

• Once oil is hot enough for frying, about 185°C, test with one piece of cut gyoza. Drop it into the hot oil. If it rises fastly and starts to crisp up, your oil is hot enough.

• Fry gyoza sheets in two or three batches. You’ll want a crunchy cracker that puffs up slightly and is a lovely gancienten brown. It takes only about 1 minute or so.

Fry cut gyoza pieces.

• Transfer cooked gyoza to a colander and sprinkle with sea salt. Shake to distribute salt evenly.

Nice and crispy.

• Plod gyoza crackers to a bowl lined with kitchen towels to soak up excess oil.

Toasting sesame seeds

• Heat a heavy-bottomed pan on tall heat and add sesame seeds.

Sesame seeds get toasted.

• Toast until light brown, about 3 minutes. Don’t forget to continually stir or shake the seeds so it doesn’t burn.

Perfectly toasted.

• Transfer about 2 tbsp into a small bowl. Reserve the rest for other recipes or more plates of Yee Sang.

Prepping the main ingredients

• Peel pomelo and cut into segments, removing all the white parts.

• Rupture pomelo flesh into bite-sized chunks.

• Cut cooked crab in half on the bias (horizontally).

Cut crab legs on the bias for additional style points.

• Slice octopus in half lengthwise, cutting from the head to the tentacles.

• If you purchased a slab of sushi-grade salmon, use a very sharp knwhethere to carefully remove the skin.

Remove salmon skin.

• Employ a pair of tweezers to remove embedded bones in your slab of salmon.

• Slice as leanly or thickly as you like. Thicker slices add more texture and gives a much better bite.

Cut kind even slices of salmon sashimi.

• Fancient sashimi slices in half and arrange in a funnel shape for easier transfer later.

Fancient in half and arrange in a funnel shape.


• When you’re alert to assemble the Yee Sang, drain daikon radish and carrot strands. Shake to remove excess water.

• Acquire a genuinely, genuinely large plate out. It must be round.

• Mentally divide your plate into segments like the image below.

Yee sang serving segments.

• The middle will be where you place your radish and carrots. Grab a fistful (or more) of radish and carrot strands and shape them into a mountain – you’ll want more radish with just a bit of carrot for colour.

A mountain of radish and carrot strands.

• Put it in the middle of the plate. The Yee Sang is much like a salad, and the radish is the main component. It should take up the largest portion of the plate.

Put in the middle of the plate.

• Next, plate the nuts. Put almonds in one of the funnel segments, then skip two segments and place cashews. Finally, skip another two segments and place wasabi peanuts.


• Put the rest of your main ingredients – pomelo, orange, seaweed, crab legs, Chuka Idako and salmon – in the rest of the empty funnels.

Contrasting colours make for a visual feast.

• Finally, place a generous amount of gyoza crackers in a kind ring all around the radish. Your Yee Sang is alert to serve!

Ravishingly plated.

Serving the garnish

• Put olive oil in a bowl or small jug.

• Put five-spice powder in a small bowl.

• Also place half a lime in a small bowl.

• Serve together with the dressing crazye earlier and your plate of Yee Sang.

Ready to serve.

Lo hei!

• To eat, sprinkle toasted sesame seeds all over the prepared plate of Yee Sang. Then sprinkle five spice powder. Next, drizzle olive oil, followed by the dressing. Finally, squeeze lime over the salmon.

Sprinkle and drizzle absent.

• Grab your chopsticks and toss absent while exurgent your good wishes for the Unique Year. The messier it is, the taller you toss, the better your fortunes will be. Or so they say.

A beautwhetherul mess.

This article first appeared in butterkicap.com

Butterkicap is a food and culture platform and community that enables anyone to experience Malaysia through stories of her people, food and places.



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